Sunday, October 30, 2005

My Poor Packers

The only idea I have to fix that is for the ref to let the play play out, then issue his ruling on the field. If he thinks the guy was down, let the fumble play out, then blow the whistle and say "the ruling on the field is that the player was down by contact" and let the coach challenge if he thinks otherwise. That way, there's at least still an option to review it.
-The Blog That Yost Built, September 18, 2005
It looks like the league is listening. During the Lions game, Jeff Garthia was wrapped up by Urlacher, and flung a pass horizontally toward the sideline. A Bears LB picked up the ball and ran into the endzone for a touchdown. The refs conferenced, and threw a flag. The ref stated that the ruling on the field was an incomplete pass and intentional grounding on Garthia. The Bears challenged and on review, the play stood as called. But in previous games, the ref would have blown the play dead, and if it turned out that Garthia really did throw it backwards, The Bears couldn't have gotten the ball. The announcers said that the league is telling refs to let things play out now, so that they can cover themselves.

This ruling comes too late to save Green Bay against Tampa and Cleveland, but I applaud the league for realizing that the replay system needed tweaking and making the necessary adjustments.

My poor Packers are now 1-6, and have still outscored their opponents by 19. Their last 5 losses have come by a total of 16 points. Ugh. Favre threw 5 picks today and Green Bay's defense once again came up with an excellent performance, giving them one last chance to tie. Favre apparently tried a fake spike with 5 seconds left from the 30 yard line, but none of the Packers receivers seemed aware that he was going to fake it. So they lost again. Houston won, so the Pack is in the driver's seat for Reggie Bush, and with games coming up against Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Philly in their next 4 games, it doesn't look like it's going to get a whole lot better anytime soon.

Jim Bates has done a phenomenal job with this defense. Whatever happens in the offseason, they HAVE to keep him. I don't care if it means firing Sherman to keep Bates as Head Coach, they need that guy around. Mike Sherman deserves credit too, though. This team has nothing left on offense with Green, Davenport, Walker, Ferguson, Murphy all gone for the season and Franks, Flanagan and Martin all banged up. But they haven't quit. They're fighting, and they've been in every single game, apart from maybe the opener against Detroit. I can't believe this rash of injuries. No they aren't a good football team, but they're a helluva lot better than their 1-6 record indicates. Or at least they were before everyone went down.

Michigan hockey split with UAF this weekend up in Alaska and I'm not disappointed with that. UAF is a good hockey team (Just ask Minnesota) and that's a tough road trip to make. I wouldn't have straight up taken a split before the weekend, but it's pretty much what I expected. It looks a lot better considering Ohio State got swept by Western.

I don't have a lot to say about the Friday night game since I missed the first period (including all 4 goals in the first period) and we watched from a bar that didn't have the audio on. The camera was so damn far away it was hard to pick out different players, especially without the audio. The one thing I will say is that Windsor_Michigan and Reelking3 have sharp eyes for spotting that guy offsides on UAF's fourth goal. I didn't notice it live, but MHNet posted a link on MGoBlog to a photo from USCHO showing how far off that play was.

Yikes. The arrow on the right is pointing at the puck (kind of hard to see, but if you look at where the Michigan players are looking, it confirms that that is in fact the puck). And the UAF player is offsides by at least a couple of feet. Great positioning by the linesman by the way. Scott Hansen would be proud of that, since I'm fairly sure that's about the spot on the ice he was at when he waived off Michigan's go-ahead goal in the 2003 quarterfinals. Not that we really deserved to win that game Friday night anyway. If that was the winning goal, I'd be throwing a BWI-sized fit right now, but we really didn't get anything going offensively in the second or third periods it didn't seem like. Still, stellar call by Brian Aaron's crew. I don't care what anyone says about Wilkens, Aaron has him beat. I dread every game that guy does because we're down a goal from the start.

Saturday was a very nice way to bounce back. The game wasn't ever really in doubt. Ruden played well in goal, though with the bounces going the other way, it probably could've been getting shelled this weekend, since UAF hit at least 3-4 posts. Jack and TJ had their typical multi-point games. Dest is getting my Garrett Rivas award for the weekend. I'm not sure what it is about the kid, but when he's good, he's really good....but when he's not on his game he's awful out there. We're talking awful like Florida's football jerseys awful. (Side note, but what the hell were those things??? Those should put any discussion of our pinstripping to bed. I actually kind of liked Miami's though, even if the helmet was Fugly.) At least we probably don't have to worry about being #1 anymore. CC probably jumps us, and that's fine with me. It's pressure that team doesn't need, and a ranking they don't really deserve at this point. Home-and-home with Notre Dame next weekend, and despite Noah's shutout, I really hope they go with Sauer. That's a weaker opponent, get a little bit of confidence back. If they're thinking he's their guy, they have to go with him against ND. This game also saw the first penalty shot against U of M since 1997. Ruden made a nice blocker save. I thought the call for the PS was questionable. No comment about Kal's hit from behind game misconduct, because the feed went out for the first 8 minutes of the 3rd period. A random guy made a beautiful 2-rail shot in billiards to knock the 6 ball in, though.

The football team pulled off a huge win in Evanston, and even though Henne was schizo again, the game wasn't really ever all that close. Big time credit to Jim Hermann and the defensive staff. They held Northwestern to 17 points, including 0 in the second half, and over 100 yards below their average output. Even though Michigan only scored 6 in the second half, it was more than enough. They've actually done a pretty darn good job against the spread offenses this year. I never would have believed they'd hold NW below 20 points.

Actually ignore that last paragraph. We won because of all the phanton holding calls. Penn State fans are the best. Hold one of the top offenses in the country to 0 points and 30 or so net yards in the second half, but it was because of the penalties.

And with a 0-0 tie against MSU in women's soccer, Michigan retains the Pontiac Challenge Cup for yet another season. No truth to the rumor that they're going to rename it the Michigan Cup, since MSU has never touched it. We own you, Sparty.

The Wings kept being filthy with a second win over Chicago in as many games. Osgood got his first start back in a Wings jersey (oh boy!) and even though I didn't see a ton of the game, it sounds like he did pretty well. One goal he gave up was typically awful, but he made some nice saves toward the end of the game. Samuelsson scored yet again. The Wings are now 11-1, with another game against Chicago coming on Tuesday.

Time til I get banned from BWI: 3.....2.....1.......


Anonymous said...

BWI is better than the Onion for comedy. I knew they would go nutso after we beat them and I wasn't dissapointed. I guess losing to the same team 7 times in a row really can drive some people insane.

Anonymous said...

Kaleniecki's checking from behind penalty was total garbage. Replay showed the UAF guy pretty much was falling down forward on his own and Kal was standing behind him. Didn't hit him at all, the guy didn't go in to the boards or anything. It wouldn't even have been a two minute penalty, it was a total phantom call. Another craptacular call by the officials this weekend, though I must say this new rule crackdown is really really annoying. If they want to eliminate CFB more, fine, but making everything a major penalty and game misconduct, especially on calls like that that aren't legitimate, is totally bogus for whatever team that penalty happens to. The LSSU/NMU game had three of them called in Friday night's game alone, two of which were terrible calls.